Print Column: How Many Times Did North Dakota Cops Violate the Fourth Amendment?


MINOT, N.D. — By all appearances, cops in North Dakota are routinely violating the Fourth Amendment and its protections against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

Let me give you some examples.

Last year, in a case originating in Stutsman County, North Dakota District Court Judge Jay Schmitz suppressed, as evidence supporting criminal charges, some 500 pounds of marijuana seized by law enforcement.

In an epic ruling — one in which the judge warned against “the dangers of turning a blind eye to official abuses of our fundamental freedoms in the name of a “war on drugs”— Schmitz smacked down law enforcement’s justification for the stop resulting in the seizure.

A justification which amounted to a lengthy description of how odd the driver’s scrupulous adherence to traffic laws was.

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